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Using Title IX To Hold Schools Accountable For Sexual Violence

Schools have a responsibility under Title IX to keep their campuses safe for students. I founded Kircher Law, LLC, in Maineville to help victims of sexual violence throughout Ohio pursue civil lawsuits. My name is Konrad Kircher. As a civil rights and sexual assault attorney, I help hold sexual predators, attackers and schools responsible for sexual violence that occurs at educational institutions.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender in federally funded schools. In other words, Title IX guarantees that federally funded education programs offer equal educational opportunities. In practice, Title IX is credited for increasing the participation of girls and women in sports, because it requires equitable treatment of athletes for participation and scholarships. While Title IX is limited in application because it only applies to educational institutions, it has helped women throughout the country have the opportunity to participate in sports at a collegiate level and, in doing so, has advanced principles of gender equality.

Sexual Violence In Schools And Title IX

Under Title IX, rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment are considered discrimination on the basis of sex. Therefore, Title IX is also a vehicle for student and victims’ rights. Under Title IX, educational institutions that receive federal funds are obligated and required to keep students safe from gender-based harassment and violence – including rape and sexual assault. As such, if a student is sexually assaulted, there may be a third-party claim against the school under Title IX.

What Should You Do If You’ve Faced Sexual Abuse On Campus?

Sexual abuse, whether from a professor, a coach, an adviser or another student, is something you should never have to endure. Sadly, it can and still happens. If you are a sexual abuse survivor and wish to hold your abuser accountable, follow these steps:

  • Seek medical attention: Visiting your doctor or the hospital after enduring sexual abuse is crucial. Health care professionals may be able to help you identify unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections and treat them appropriately. Additionally, if you seek medical attention within 72 hours of abuse, health care workers could help you collect evidence for criminal and civil prosecution through the use of a rape kit.
  • File a report with authorities: Local police can conduct a thorough investigation of the abuse through hospital rape kits and other means. They can also help you formally file criminal charges.
  • File a report with the school: While numerous colleges are notorious for sweeping sexual abuse allegations under the rug, reporting your case to your university can serve your case whether they respond appropriately or not. For example, if they respond appropriately, they may take their own action to hold your abuser accountable. If they don’t, their inaction can demonstrate their negligence and violation of Title IX rules.
  • Contact a sexual abuse attorney: Even if you are pursuing criminal charges against your abuser, you may also wish to pursue civil penalties against your school for violating their duty of care. Under Title IX, colleges and universities that receive federal funding must protect students against gender-based violence. An experienced lawyer can help you pursue damages if they don’t.
  • Confide in people you trust: Whether it’s a friend, family member or another loved one, telling people you’re close to about your experience can help you feel less alone. Those who believe you are people you can count on. They can also offer encouragement and support in your efforts to pursue justice.

You never deserve to suffer sexual abuse, especially at institutions that are supposed to foster learning, growth and safety. Following these steps can help you in your efforts to make your voice heard and to hold your abuser accountable.

How Is Sexual Violence In Schools A Civil Rights Issue?

Sexual assault and violence on campuses and at schools, whether it occurs in grades K-12 or at a college campus or university, is a civil rights issue. If any student is the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, then they are not being provided free and equal access to education.

Schedule A Confidential Consultation With A Victims’ Rights Lawyer

At Kircher Law, I offer confidential and free initial consultations. During this appointment, I will help you assess any possible claims and tell you more about how I can help you with your case. To schedule your free appointment, contact my office by calling 888-725-0811 or sending me an inquiry using my online form.